Esports to become $1.6B industry this year despite growth slow down

According to data from, esports will become a $1.6 billion industry this year, despite a growth slowdown across all market segments.
According to data from, esports will become a $1.6 billion industry this year, despite a growth slowdown across all market segments.

After becoming a billion dollars worth industry in 2021, the esports market continues growing, still at a slower pace than in previous years.

According to data presented by, esports revenues are expected to hit $1.6 billion in 2023, growing by an annual growth rate of 14 percent, which is less than the 17 percent and 27 percent year-over-year increase seen in the last two years.

Revenue growth slowing down across all market segments

After COVID-19 hit, esports and gaming became one of the most popular indoor and online activities for millions of people isolated in their homes. According to Statista data, more than 75 million people worldwide started watching esports in 2020 only, with the total number of viewers reaching 475 million that year. In 2021, the global esports audience hit more than 524 million people.

In 2021, global esports revenues jumped by 21 percent year-over-year to $1.2 billion. Last year saw a 17 percent annual growth, with the entire market reaching over $1.4 billion value. Still, Statista expects the annual growth rate to slip to 14 percent in 2023, with global revenues rising by $200 billion year-over-year.

As the largest revenue stream, esports sponsorships are forecast to grow by 12 percent to $895 million, while in 2022, they grew 16 percent year-over-year. Media rights revenues will increase by 18 percent to $276 million, down from the 21 percent growth rate seen last year.

The merchandise and ticketing segment is expected to witness the biggest revenue growth decline. In 2022, this segment of the esports industry grew by 34 percent year-over-year and hit a $180 million value. Statistics show 2023 will see less than half that growth, with revenues rising by 16 percent year-over-year to $210.6 million.

Analyzed by geography, almost half of all esports revenues will come from China and the United States as the top two markets.

More than 50 million new esports viewers in a year

In the last three years, more than 125 million people worldwide started watching esports, driving the total number of viewers to 526 million in 2022. However, last year saw the smallest annual viewership increase in the last decade of only 0.5 percent

Statista expects that to change in 2023, with more than 50 million people joining the global esports fan club, a 10 percent year-over-year increase.

The rising trend is set to continue in the next two years, with the number of esports viewers growing by another 14 percent to 665 million by 2025.